Live-*ooof*ing for the Fandom

Processing is over. I am back on home turf after five four memorable days. Five? Four? Well, my journey almost didn’t happen. It almost finished before it began, and it certainly tested my resolve. Because I actually totally overslept on Saturday morning and woke up at 8 am – half an hour after my flight had already left for Berlin. I lamented, I screamed, I cursed – and then immediately booked a new flight for the next day. Thanks to the cheap airfares of budget airlines…

However, after such a bad start, it took a lot of strength not to consider the whole trip doomed. And now, two days after the big event, after a some rehashing, deliberating and most of all – reliving – I can say it was an exciting adventure that surpassed my expectations in many ways. And in others didn’t. But more about that later…

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug European premiere was scheduled to start at 6.30 pm on Monday evening. I was going to attend together with my RL RA-friend D___, as well as Linda60 and UtePirat with whom I had made contact in the run-up to the event. Based on my experience from last year in London, where things had been more than calm at Leicester Square until 2pm, I had planned a leisurely morning and an eventual arrival at the red carpet around mid-day. However, UtePirat was adamant that we needed to be there in the morning. She hooked up with a German board contingent at 8.30 am and gave me a buzz – so myself and D___ jumped on the S-Bahn and joined them later. Linda60 also turned up and joined our bunch.

Thanks to the German board ladies we were able to bag a great spot for some red carpet crawling. Mind you, by the time we got there, the first row was already taken. But they had actually positioned themselves on a bench right by the railings, and I knew right away that that was the perfect spot for taking pictures from – unrestricted view onto the red carpet, no heads in front of me, nicely illuminated from above with a row of spotlights. And a very narrow space for fans opposite to our spot – which meant that the celebs would probably stay on our side and grace us with their presence.

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Guylty’s first glimpse of Richard. Can you spot him?

As for the actual appearance of our admired actor, well, this is what happened: After eight hours of waiting, things all of a sudden got into the swing. RA was one of the first celebs to arrive at the red carpet. Unexpectedly, I must say. I had imagined he would come a little later.  When I spotted him from my high vantage point – about 10 metres away – I felt a jolt of excitement strike through me.

RA 1

Smile – sign – step

armitage-army-kann-nicht-cool-bleibenThere he was, unmistakably him. He edged closer to us, signing an autograph, smiling, another step, posing for a picture, smiling, another step, a brief look up to acknowledge a fan saying hello, another step. UtePirat held up my sign, and finally RA was close enough for me to take some pictures. I concentrated on the photography. Richard paused briefly when he saw the sign, then moved on, signing autographs, smiling.

RA 2

The moment when Richard spots the sign – I have been told…

I clicked away. He was right in front of me, and he was signing for the girls in front of me. I photographed. I was cursing inwardly, because all I was seeing was his down-turned face, concentrating as he was, on signing his name on the autograph cards in front of him. But a big camera like mine is hard to overlook – as is someone who is towering on a bench over the others, so he did actually look up, as he was in front of me, briefly, and for a moment I could see him looking at my camera, and I frantically aimed and released the shutter.

RA 4

He looks up and Guylty f*cks up. I didn’t get it right. Camera shake, quite obviously.
Well, is anyone surprised? I am not. Graaaaah!

I had no time to think, though, as he was inevitably moving on. There was no time to acknowledge his brief reaction to my camera. Like a part on an assembly line he was moved on further along the railings while I fired more shots, occasionally just blindly aiming into the throng without looking through the viewfinder. He switched sides and crossed over to the other side of the red carpet to sign for the fans there, and I quickly remembered Servetus’ post from after the LA premiere where she had been so pleased someone took a picture of the peaches cut of RA’s suit from behind, and I took some shots even though he was a bit too far away for my 70mm zoom.

RA 6

Objects in the rear view may appear closer than you think.

And that was it. Mind you – I had no time to process that brief fan encounter right there and then. The celebs kept coming, and I shot and shot and shot. Martin Freeman. After him Ed Sheeran. Peter Jackson, Adam Brown and his pal Graham McTavish. Sylvester McCoy. Ken Stott. And then Benedict Cumberbatch. What a charming man!!! Andy Serkis. My “adopted” countryman Aidan Turner together with Dean O’Gorman, of course! Finally Evangeline Lilly. The rear brought up by Orlando Bloom. While I was photographing them, too, RA was being interviewed by the German presenters. I briefly groaned at the circus chestnut and some lapse about the pronunciation of Armitage, but I did not really hear what they were talking about. So it was about an hour later when all the celebs had passed by and I finally took the camera away from my face, that I was able to feel and think.

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His companions explaining what the sign says, apparently.

I had a strange post partum feeling – an inexplicable emotion tinged with sadness that I could not quite put my finger on. After all I had gotten what I wanted – an opportunity to take some pictures of RA at the red carpet. And from a brilliant spot. And I knew that I had got a few shots in the bag. But still… It occurred to me then that I had no proper recollection of the event. It had passed so quickly. I couldn’t even remember what Armitage was wearing – I was convinced, for instance that he wore no tie. I had noticed his nice hair and the dark lashes and the nape curls still happily curling. But that was it. I suddenly knew that I had been in work mode not in fan mode. I had concentrated on my work, shooting pictures, capturing RA in my viewfinder, framing him, focussing and releasing the shutter. I had photographed but not seen him – I had filtered the event through my camera. It was like wiitnessing a situation through a screen, once removed, being present, but not living it. And as much as I love photography, I suddenly regretted that.

RA 5

Profile love

It was only then, for instance, that Linda60 informed me about Armitage’s reaction to my sign. Apparently he had been engrossed in signing and posing, so his assistant/agent/red carpet hostess (?) had stopped him, and pointed it out to him. He looked up and then asked what it meant (yay – just what I wanted), and they explained it to him. His two companions also took photos of it.

However, it was a great opportunity to experience the excitement and the buzz of such an evening. Even if I personally had alienated myself from the situation, at least I had the images to relive the event. So looking through the images, I filled the gaps of my consciousness. Richard looked fine – slim and very handsome in his dark blue suit. The stubble was in full force, and the curls were curling delightfully. He had a friendly smile on his face and he was doing his best to fulfill the fans’ request for photos and signatures. I felt he may have been a little bit impatient to get through the red carpet procedure – understandably so, as he was probably hoping to spend some time with his family, experiencing the excitement of a major premiere with his loved ones. And maybe, maybe this whole thing is not really quite his thing. Even I found the situation overwhelming – the incessant shouts “Richard, Richard”, the buzz of excitement, the palpable expectations of the fans to get a second of his attention, the constant flashing of the camera. Oh how his face must have ached from all the smiling 😉 But he did it admirably, calmly, with the grace and professionalism that we are used to seeing him display. He was radiant, and even though I can only come to this conclusion in hindsight, I must say he put on a good show – and it was certainly no hardship exposing oneself as a fan of Richard Armitage.

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Magical moments – one step removed.

You go, RA – it was lovely to see you in the flesh. I hope you had as good an evening as I had. You illuminated the red carpet singlehandly with your smile – and you deserve all the attention you can get. Thanks for a bright evening! And for bringing together so many people who bonded over the shared admiration of your talent. I had a ball – I hope you did, too!

PS: Thank you to all of your for your messages of support in the run-up to this event, especially those that reached me on Saturday, after I had missed my flight. You helped me cope with desperation *ggg*. And on the day, I was kept warm and dry in the cold and wet by the feeling that you were with me. I knew a lot of you were thinking of me, wondering where I was, what I was seeing, what I was feeling. It was a lovely feeling, knowing you were with me. This pic is for you:

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Guylty’s favourite

PPS: I have written a detailed timeline of the event for my own blog – it just seemed a bit too wordy for this platform and I didn’t want to bore you too much. I’ll post it tomorrow. Right now, I need to sleep.

~ by Guylty on December 12, 2013.

96 Responses to “Live-*ooof*ing for the Fandom”

  1. What a lovely encounter and a beautiful picture! So fun to hear the firsthand reactions. Thanks for the post, Guylty, you deserve a little sleep!

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    • Good morning Carly, and thanks for your comment. Yes, I had to sleep, urgently (I was up until 2.30 am last night.) And now that I read over it again, I remember all the other things I wanted to say in my final report. Grah. Well, maybe in my other post…

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  2. Wunderbar post Guylty! Loved your writeup and reading it I felt like I was there with you. You did great representing the Armitage Army! And I love that your poster got translated for him, how awesome!
    Even without a camera, many of us who have encountered him have scattered memory of the event. It’s a bit of an out of body experience, and very difficult not to pull a Geraldine Grainger. YOU DID GREAT! xo

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    • Out of body experience alright *ggg*. Out of mind, more like. I have to admit I was asking myself at various points during the day whether I had taken complete leave of my senses, doing this. And initially, I was not quite as enthusiastic as I come across here. A first fan encounter is always highly emotional, I suppose. Just like all “firsts” in life. And I found it hard to cope with the fact that someone *whom I do not know* can ellicit strong responses from me. I am a fairly level-headed person in RL. This is so OOC. Or maybe not. Maybe the 17 year old who could not eat all day before going out to the disco in the evening is still alive in me. I actually like the thought of that.

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  3. What AwkCelebEncounter said. Very detailed description – and oh my – he looked right at you! Would like to hear what it was about BC that charmed you in particular. I’ve been enjoying him a lot during this tour.

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    • Hi Perry – sorry for overlooking your comment!
      Cumberbatch was just such a gentleman. Have written about that in my minute-by-minute recount, due on my blog later today. I’ll put some more images of other actors in there, too, for illustration purposes.

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  4. Well done Guylty – I think you got some great shots as I always prefer the candids. Especially the last one…yummy!

    You did well to get there after the false start- it would have been easy to say “it wasn’t meant to be” and not go at that point. So kudos to you.

    Did you see his family? I thought I heard they were on the red carpet with him. I keep thinking what a magical experience it would have been for his nephew.

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    • You are very kind Bolly – but no excuse, the pics are nowhere near the level that they should be, considering that I *know* how to do this properly. I got swept away by the frenzy of the moment after I had made the wrong call at the beginning. Rookie.
      And yes, there was no way I was going to let the bad start throw me off my plan. (Luckily I had enough dosh in the bank…)
      Yes, I saw his family pass by. I recognised his mum – the Armitage profile is definitely down to her – and there were his brother, his SIL and the little nephew. They walked up the red carpet with him for a while and then moved on to the cinema, I think, to wait there.

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  5. I’m so glad you had this opportunity, Guylty, and that you didn’t give up. 🙂

    And I am a big fan of your favorite photo. He may be looking down, but there is something warm and intriguing in the expression you captured, and the line of the brows down the nose, softened by those lowered lashes, is beautiful.

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    • Yeah, now that I look at the pics *after* having written all the stuff off my chest, I am beginning to engage with the images. The b/w is my favourite. He has a nice soft smile, looks calm. Totally belieing the frenzy of the moment, though 🙂
      The lashes were something that I noticed even while I was shooting. Funny how we zone in on details…

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  6. Lovely photos and lovely post. :} Lots of hugs. I agree with alyssabethancourt about the photo. So beautiful. ❤ As are all your shots – you truly have a skill and a gift. Thank you for sharing both, and your story, with us.

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    • Christine – you are definitely too kind. My photos neither do the event nor the man justice. For starters, there is not enough of them. And secondly, they are far too blurry. I think some of my initially sadness after the event was directly related to the fact that I already *knew* I had made a mistake with my choice of settings. If anything, I may have an eye for framing and possibly for the decisive moment (of releasing the shutter), capturing a split second, possibly the essence. But technically – ugh, I am highly disappointed.
      But I need the hug and I take it gladly. Thanks! x

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  7. Wunderbar felt as tho I was there. Loved your photos and writing.

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    • Thanks Wendy – I am glad that I actually have this platform here where I could post my impressions. Knowing that there were my fandom friends who would want to read my thoughts made me evaluate and rethink the premiere and my experience of it. It has helped me come to a final conclusion about it. Blogging as therapy 🙂

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  8. Thank you for sharing your experience and photos! As Christine said perfectly “lovely photos and lovely post.” I am also a big fan of your favorite photo. 🙂

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    • Hehe, classy in b/w! Glad to have been able to shed some light on the event – from my perspective. Unfortunately it somehow slipped my mind that I needed to record every detail of it in my head – and I just automatically worked rather than observe. But that is a typical fan experience in itself, I guess. Thanks for commenting 🙂

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  9. Sounds like mixed feelings. I’m trying to project what I would do when listening to all these accounts….
    I’m so glad you got to do this! That last shot in b&w is gorgeous!
    He was looking at you for a moment – even if it was through a camera lens (but that’s you, isn’t it?). That has to count as a very special moment.

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    • My evaluation of the whole event has undergone some changes ever since it happened. It started out with a definite feeling of sadness and regret. Then it became ambivalent as I was beginning to process it. And finally rationality kicked in and I was able to see that it was good – at least RA delivered, even if I didn’t.
      My advice, taken from my own experience is – if you go to an event like this, have someone with you who is not a fan but agrees to snap as many pictures as he/she can. You yourself ought to concentrate on feeling the moment, not on dealing with a camera.
      Mind you – that was what I had wanted to do. I had said that in the run-up to the event. I did not want interaction and I did not want to speak but to hide behind the camera. Just turns out that that was not ideal. Especially when you consider that I am unhappy with the quality of my photos. But well, you live and you learn. A lesson. And yes, Trudy, you have really hit the nail on the head: I see through the lens, and that is *me*. Thanks for pointing that out, actually – your last paragraph has actually reconciled me with the experience. Thanks xx

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  10. Beautiful pics and thank you so much, Guylty. I have to confess I do not recall one moment of my marriage ceremony. I remember getting ready, and the reception, but the wedding itself? Nada. We do have photos and a marriage certificate, however . . . 😉

    And what you’ve said about feeling alienated from the event because of the camera being between you and RA is exactly the reason we tell people to let us capture the memories for them with our video production company. Go ahead and watch and savor your child/spouse/friend have their milestone moment without fumbling with your iPhone or camcorder. We will do the rest. 😀

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    • You are 100 percent right, Angie – pivotal moments such as a wedding often pass by in a blur. I have similar hazy recollections of the birth of my children. I suppose it’s something to do with adrenaline – literally being drugged out and only perceiving through a haze. (Ehm, although in this case I would like to emphasise that a RA fan encounter unfortunately is not quite up there with the birth of my children! Sorry Richard, but my Earth didn’t quite move when you appeared in front of my lens…)
      You make an excellent point there about the value of event photography, Angie. Photos are wonderful memory keepers – they capture a moment forever and they can nudge your memory. My images did that for me, too – although some of the gaps had to be filled in with the info from Linda and Ute.

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      • You know, I wrote that comment very soon after you posted, and just zoned out and never hit “reply” until just now LOL I’ve been wrapped up in video editing myself, which is why it’s so much on my mind, I guess. Stayed up all night last night wrestling with some technical issues but hallelujah, the first half of my project is done and I’ve made significant progress with the second half (and got some sleep during the day). Have a children’s Christmas program to video Friday afternoon and rather looking forward to that. Lots of color and cuteness overload is anticipated.

        I fully understand where you are coming from about feeling a bit down because the photos didn’t meet your own standards—aren’t we always our toughest critics? I have a very hard time really pleasing myself. I know I could always have done better. Still, considering the circumstances, well done, you!! I love the B&W image, too— it’s already popped up on FB and I pointed out it was yours, BTW.

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        • Hahaha, seriously? Who dares to take my pictures without asking *ggg*. I mean, I am laughing it off here, because frankly – I am less than enchanted with my pics. Mind you, crediting is the least that needs to be done. Thanks for pointing that out, Angie xxx And good luck with your editing!

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  11. I really love this post. A zillion times love. So he did see the sign, and he asked his handlers what it meant and got pictures of it. And the picture that you got of him looking into your lens is, IMO, really good as are the others. Wow.

    I admire that you were willing to do this because I know your feelings are ambivalent. (my variation on this is screencapping while I’m watching live so I preserve some detachment). I never would have. You really needed a lot of energy for this and it paid off.

    The post partum feeling is something I can sympathize with on so many levels. I am glad that you sorted your reactions out. And now, maybe next year, in London or somewhere else in Europe, without a camera? Just fangirling Guylty? If that’s what you want I’d wish that for you.

    Big hugs.

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    • Thanks Serv 🙂 It means quite a lot to me to get a bit of love back from you and all others despite my wanting pictures and write-up. The dead pan pic is ridiculous, of course, quality-wise, but just to prove my claim 😉 Old academic habit – always support your claim with evidence *ggg*.
      Yes, my feelings were ambivalent and they still are. I was quite clear in the run-up to this that I did not want interaction and instead wanted to busy myself with photography. My reasoning for that was that I knew I*d inevitably be disappointed by the kind of interaction that is possible at the red carpet. It surprised me that afterwards I felt disappointed *despite* doing what I wanted, and that I felt I missed out on living the event. Trudy has put that regret back into perspective for me – she is right: I *am* the lens, and therefore it is part of me, and part of *my* experience of such an event.
      However, if (and that is a big IF) I ever do something like this again, I might actually leave the camera aside and LIVE the event. (Or maybe I won’t – I just can’t imagine *not* taking pictures of such occasions, and the screen between me and others is actually something I often appreciate… I think there is scope for a few months of therapy sessions in this *ggg*)
      Ach, who am I kidding? London 2014? Definitely there. 😀 And at least I now know that a) I need to bring a stepladder and b) I have to use flash whether I want it or not.

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  12. OMG!!!!! I’m screaming here with absolute joy for you and for me getting to experience it all vicariously. I’m glad you were able to process your feelings. Thanks so much for writing it up for the rest of us.

    But I have to ask a dumb question. What does your sign mean?

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    • Thanks, Little Red. And oh, sorry – I should’ve included the translation. The sign reads “Armitage Army cannot keep cool”. It’s a reference to the sign of more or less identical design that AwkwardCelebrityEncounters brought along when she visited RA on set of the Tornado movie in summer 2012.

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  13. […] — make sure you read Guylty’s report from Berlin with all the pictures! I covered it over quickly and it deserved more time on top of the blog. You’ll love the […]

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  14. Thank you so much for sharing your impressions and these wonderful pics with us Guylty!!!
    I share a lot of your feelings and it was a truly great evening for me too – still grining from ear to ear 🙂
    Oh and I love your sign – einfach großartig!!!

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    • Cool – glad you like my sign, Herba. I look forward to reading your impressions, too – I know you were in a totally different spot than I was and I wonder what kind of views you got. Did you take pictures?

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      • I had a really great view when the actors came to us to sign and take pictures but some of them didn’t do that (Peter Jackson, Martin Freeman…) and I saw them only from behind or walking by in a distance.
        Yes I did, but only a few, because I had a book with me for autographs and a pen of course and because of that I couldn’t handle my cam to well

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  15. I was thinking about you while watching the live stream, Guylty.
    I doubt if I will ever have a chance to experience such an event so thank you in my and my best RAfriend behalf.
    I think I can imagine this kind of post partum feeling…can you feel my hugs,((Gulty))?…I love your pictures!

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    • Aw, thanks – I take the hugs, they are helping me overcome my annoyance with the pics.
      While I was making every effort to avoid being caught by the TV/film cameras, it did occur to me that *should* they capture me, at least I could wave at everybody on live stream. How cool would that have been? Photobombing the premiere so to speak *lol*.

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      • It would be awesome! 🙂 I’m counting on you, Agzym and other RAfriends in the next year..don’t wave at him, wave at us 😀

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  16. It was a brave decision… well done! :
    I’m glad you had such a good time, met friends, and took some lovely pics (oh the last one).
    And what a turmoil of feelings…
    This year guylty the photographer had her moment, perhaps next year guytly the fan will have a go. 🙂

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    • That’s a nice way of looking at it, Richardiana. I have no idea, and in truth, I guess I am still processing. I can feel things still shifting in my mind and in my memory. I can say for sure, though, that it was not a wasted moment. I enjoyed being there, I loved being busy with the photographing, and I did feel excited and not numb. The regret was only afterwards when it sunk in that I had just had RA walk within arm’s reach – and I had not even said “welcome to Germany, Richard”.

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      • I completely understand the hesitation to interact. Or even attend. But you did attend, and with time emotions will settle down and you’ll be able to define how you feel about the whole thing. Luckily, there’ll be another chance next year if you decide you wish to make the next step…

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  17. Thank you very much for your report and the pics of our gorgeous favoured actor … Glad you had a fine time and reached Berlin in time!I have read several reports from the rc in the meantime and all of them express the same overwhelming impression. Would have loved to be there …

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    • I have the impression that there is hardly ever anyone who will admit to being non-plussed about seeing their admired star at a red carpet event. The buzz of the moment is electrifying – the arrival of the star after loooong anticipation, the screams, the flashing cameras, the surge of the crowd, the waving hands. It is a circus, to be honest. It is almost as if the star is playing a supporting role in his own drama *hehe*. I certainly felt excited while he was in front of us – and then deflated when he had passed by. That sounds a bit wet-fishy – but no, I did enjoy it. I was overwhelmed, too. It’ll be interesting to hear what Ute and Linda60 have to say…

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  18. Great photos you must have got a fantastic spot. The last one is truly beautiful. As someone who spends a lot of time standing on the outside looking in I really appreciate your comments about how you felt. Sometimes it is hard to be slightly detached from things but in other ways you get to see the whole picture. Well done for going even with all your traumas to get there I’m glad he got to see your sign. Xxx

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    • Yes, the spot was really really good – standing on a bench, towering above the heads. (Can’t believe I wasted that *grrrrrah*)
      And you are right about the advantages of detachment. However, fangirling is such an emotional occupation, it felt really incongruous to me to be so rational and un-related to the actual moments. It was only when I connected through the images that I could make a connection and feel something. A bit of a delayed reaction, I suppose.
      The universe was definitely testing me on Saturday with my missed flight. Well, beat you, universe ;-)!!!

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  19. Beautiful account of the event and your experiences, Guylty! Stunning photographs!! Oh my!! -_-
    Xx

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    • Oh Hannah – thanks for your comment and glad you like them. It was brilliant fun to be there, even if my reactions are sort of late. Now that I have come down from the high I keep remembering bits and pieces, and I keep reevaluating my initial impressions while answering the comments here. Maybe I need to scrap the report altogether *ggg*

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      • Aw, not late at all…you need time to process these things ^-^ Some moments, I imagine, are too surreal to put into words!
        Xx

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        • Surreal is the word indeed. Some of it was downright ludicrous. I’m glad I have written it all down now. I am sure the memories will shift and fade and overlap and create new impressions over time.

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          • Aye, I’m sure they will. Having written it all down, though, you can always return to it and enjoy/relive all the moments again and again.
            And next up, there’s the film! Which will offer up even more memories and emotions to deal with! ;P I’m seeing it at 7am tomorrow, in London. The things we do for Armi… hehe!
            Xx

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            • 7 Am??? Early morning screening? The things we do, indeed *ggg*. I have booked tickets for tomorrow, too – in the evening though. Can’t wait…

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              • I know, a tad crazy, one might say! It’ll still be breakfast time by the time it finishes, haha! So excited though! 😉 I’m going with my friend who loves Lee Pace, so we’ll both be swooning about the place… ! ^^
                Xx

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      • Your mixed feelings, Guylty, are very like some of the feelings those who went to the Fan Event felt, and you were in a different position. The professional you took over and left the fangirl behind – still, he looked right at you. Next year, you’ll go to London for the premiere – leave your camera behind and whip out your phone.

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        • Yes, I feel a bit consoled by the fact that many people have this kind of experience at a fan encounter. Some of it is due to unrealistic expectations – hence my determination to stay firmly behind the camera and not even *allow* interaction. Little did I know that I would be annoyed with myself for taking the path that I had intended to take… Talk about irrational women *lol*.
          Next year… I don’t know. I can’t even imagine myself being somewhere without the camera in front of my nose. While I shoot with the iPhone on a daily basis, it’s just far too basic for good shots… I suspect I am a bad fangirl – the photographer in me always wants to take over. Or maybe that is simply my coping strategy – hiding behind the screen because it is all a bit too much for my poor old heart.

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  20. Thanks guylty for that wonderful report.

    I´m still feeling a bit surreal, as it was a person from looking outside instead of me standing there. And though not looking through a camera, just holding the sign, I was so mesmerized that my remembrance is very vaguely.

    My personal résumé: I got all I wanted… finally on the way to sort out what the RAfandom means to me, it calms me me down and fills me with relief.

    Thanks for letting me keep the sign, it looks a bit battered at the moment but will end up as a collage including all your wonderful and my personal shaking hands pics on my bedroom wall 🙂

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    • Ute, you held the sign beautifully. I appoint you official signholder of the Army ;-).Letting you have the sign was the least I could do – after all I was going to kick it in the bin right there and then. It would not have fit my luggage :-D.
      You are right – the event certainly brought some closure for me too. I do think that something has shifted in my fangirling reality. Possibly the realisation that there is a real person behind the beautiful imagery on screen and picture. I am still mulling over that and which repercussion this realisation will have for my fan practice…
      It was great to have met you – and massive thanks are due to you for insisting on us turning up early and for effectively getting us a prime spot for red carpet crawling. x

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  21. WOW! Fantastic. So happy you got to see him. Thanks for the great report

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    • Lady0akenshield – thanks for that!! I was thinking of you a lot these last two days. I was reminded of how it took you a while before you were able to write a report about your meet with RA in Sydney. I felt very much like that – I needed time to process and understand. I actually think I still haven’t quite come to the final evaluation… How long did it take you to come to a conclusion over your encounter? And has your view of the event changed over time?

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      • It took me awhile – I think the first week I would just burst into tears at the thought of it. After a few weeks it just becomes a memory that makes you smile, but if I ever sit down and think about it or see pics of me with him I still feel funny, almost like “did that really happen?” Every moment is still very very clear in my head
        To be honest there are parts of my encounter that I didn’t include in my retelling of that day – I have kept those memories just for me.- and those very special bits still make me cry – but in a good way 🙂

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        • Oh-oh – I have to set aside a few days then to find real equilibrium. Mind you, my encounter was much removed, so it hasn’t hit quite as hard. I think it is a good idea to keep some thoughts to yourself. I have, too. Thanks for letting me know 🙂

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          • No problem! Take the time you need to recover. It’s such a special treat to see him in person

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            • I can only imagine it must be a LOT to process. Guytly, thanks also for the good luck wishes for the editing. It is coming along pretty well. I went through a bad time of it earlier this week with a lot of technical issues and really stressed out, but things are finally coming together.

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              • Grah – editing. My least favourite part… I have a heap of images to edit for my blog post tonight. Procrastinating as we speak…

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                • I have a sort of love/hate relationship with video editing, I think. When it goes well, I am quite happy, but when I keep running into brick walls, I am—NOT. Benny was just laughing because my opening and closing vids for the wedding when combined together will be longer than the actual ceremony—which really isn’t surprising, considering how short and sweet most Baptist ceremonies actually are.

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            • It is – even if it means four weeks of downtime afterwards 😀

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  22. My god, Guylty, that last B&W shot delivered a hit to the feels. It’s beautiful!
    Thank you so much for your report and for sharing your experience and your photos.
    My memories of seeing Richard in Sydney have more to do with the way I felt rather than the pictures in my head. I rely on the shots taken by much better photographers than I and the video to fill in the gaps from that night.

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    • It makes me really happy to hear that some of my pics are appreciated by my fellow sistas in RA 🙂 I took them not just for myself, but for you all. That is why I am so upset about the substandard quality.
      And you know what – I think the camera in your head is actually much better at preserving the feels. Pictures are triggers – that’s why they are important. But the photo album in your head records much more than just a view.

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  23. I love all of these shots…1. Because of the subject of course, but 2. because YOU took them – they are personal to me in a way. I actually like that you’ve captured less posed moments. There are so many posed shots, but in these there is more of the dynamic of the moment that is really compelling. I’m so glad that you came away from it all with a positive feeing after the rocky start…..and I still think you’re AWESOME!

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    • Aw *wipes a tear from her eye*. Not kidding – I was quite aware of all of you having my back while I was at the event. I thought of my fellow friends and fans very often while I was there, hoping I could capture some of the buzz and the excitement. And of course the outward beauty of the man. This event and the pictures I made – however much I am picking my images to death right now – will always be special for me because I knew the Army was behind me. The fact that you were all there with me made me persevere. It was a great feeling, btw. xx

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  24. Thanks Guylty! The pictures and your essay are fabulous! UtePirat had mentioned that she had attended the premiere over on my Berlin blog post. And it’s lovely to have your extensive account here. Happy Holidays!

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    • Thanks Grati – it was really great meeting other fans there. Everyone was lovely and supportive, and the atmosphere was good natured and excited. I would do it again – maybe not in a flash, but with a little bit of time going down the road 😉

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  25. It was lovely to read such an honest account of your experience, Guylty- you wrote about how you truly felt and didn’t try to put a high gloss on it. I think you did really well- you had no way of knowing in advance how you’d feel at that moment of having RA in front of you- you could only deal with it at the time.
    I echo everyone else- the black and white shot is a winner!

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    • I felt slightly bad about putting a dampener onto things, Katharine. Engaging in these fan activities should be positive, a source of joy and energy for everyone. I do not want to spoil future or past experiences for anyone. I hope that it is clear from my account that it was my own expectations of myself that spoilt some of the enjoyment.
      The message, however, is that everyone has to do it their way. With or without a camera, alone or in a group, shouting and hollering or quietly observing from the sidelines. There are as many fan experiences as their are fans. Ultimately, this was a fun and happy event – I am not discouraged in any way, just ever so slightly annoyed with my lack of professionalism 😀

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  26. By the way — thanks indeed! for the rear shot of the suit. I am indeed grateful! From the front, I thought, it looked like a *very* narrow silhouette and the rear view affirms that. Ilaria Urbinati obviously likes very very tight clothes on a man.

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    • Hehe. Just for you, my dear, just for you. Seriously, I thought of you and took several shots. Looking closely, however, I don’t find the trousers particularly tight…
      Has anyone identified what label he was wearing, btw. I am amused by the fact that he wore slightly more formal clothes for the slightly more formal Germans than for the relaxed Spaniards *ggg*

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      • It was a British label, Unconditional.

        I thought it was funny how all the Spanish glitterati came dressed to the premiere — Armitage and Evans almost looked overdressed.

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        • *hehe*. I actually haven’t watched any of the Madrid stuff yet. Not ready for more red carpet goodness *ggg*. Ilaria is really doing a fine job, I must say.

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  27. subscribing

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  28. Guylty, having a busy workday and being of to see DOS (!), I’m not even having had time to read your post properly, let alone all the comments. I will come back later and will put my two cents in, about the event and how I experienced it!

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    • Enjoy, Linda, enjoy. A good way to prolong the buzz from Monday. I’ll do the same tomorrow night! And no hurry re commenting! I took my time and you should take yours!

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  29. Brava, Guylty! That favorite b&w photo rivals all the best oofs, indeed. Thank you so much for a lovely thought provoking post and the rest of the photos. Your favorite is heart-stoppingly beautiful; your artistry amazes me. Go raibh mile maith agat!

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    • Too much of a compliment, Chai *blushes*. It’s just a shot on the red carpet. It has come out well, but… I think I am going to have to give it the *ooof* treatment in a particularly scathing way 😉

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  30. Oh Guylty, I would have died the moment I woke up knowing I had missed the flight. Just died. The movement I read that I could feel that anxiety and pain you expressed here. To overcome that, get a new flight, and pick up and go was tremendous! And just look at the result! This is just beautiful. You not only captured him, but so much color. The event looks so alive. You could eat these pictures, they are so vivid with content.

    The sign spotting is exciting as well. Congratulations there.

    But I know exactly what you mean about postpartum depression – it is difficult to explain. I thought it was me. I thought to myself, “What’s wrong with you? You were able to see him? How can you be depressed.”

    I think it is the fact that things go so fast that we fear we’ve missed something. For me, that feeling was also too palpable. it was so bad that I just had to leave and didn’t even really stay long to see others – like you did. It was like I had to leave the source location of my then-perceived failure and I couldn’t stand it any longer. I almost cried in the car. Almost.

    It wasn’t until I started writing that I felt better – that I had something more tangible. That I could hold onto it and have it and it was mine and I could share it. Your story here also feels like I was with you, and that you took us there.

    This post here is a beautiful accomplishment and I am extremely glad that you were able to recover and gather yourself, traversing the rocky pathways and wet landscape, and stopping to not only to smell the roses, but capture and describe their beauty fully – Richard in full bloom.

    Thank you so very much!

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    • Thank you Crystal :-). You know, I was thinking of you when I was writing it, and of my reaction to your post, particularly the bits you wrote in the comments. I wanted to convey a sense of how I perceived him. There was more than I wrote, but some bits are better kept to oneself…
      It’s nice to be in the club of the Armitage Live Watchers now 😉 Removed and filtered or not – it was a milestone in a way – just for actually doing it, for making that effort for MYSELF. The missed flight was just a minor irritation. Good thing that I had booked my flights with a cushion of a day in between.
      Thanks for sharing that bit about the perceived failure. It’s good to know that this weird feeling of sadness has gripped many others, too. I do not think you failed AT ALL. You were there, you saw, you supported. And who says this was the only time you observe him live? Live and learn 😉 xx

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      • Thought the whole last days of that phenomenon: Why do I feel some kind of sadness though I had got this wonderful experience I never dared to think I would ever have in my life? (Uuhh, forgive me this multi-clause sentence)

        Is it cause I´ll probably never experience it again or is it cause the subject of my longterm dreams and fantasies suddenly came to life and to a real human being? With the result that I´ll no longer be able to fantasize in the same way like before, that would be to embarassing… What has change in fact?

        As you pointed out, it seems that further observation (investigation) is inevitable 🙂

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        • Some of my thoughts have been revolving around a similar issue.
          I suspect that this is only a short-term phenomenon, though. Much as anything, things will go back to normal, soon…

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  31. […] – to think it over and to come to some kind of conclusion. I’ve written a report for me+richard which focussed on the essentials: observing Mr A at the red carpet, my alienated participation in […]

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  32. […] because I have written about my own remote encounter at the red carpet in Berlin before (here and here) and at this point it looks like I am flogging a dead horse. In truth, I just came across a couple […]

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